We al know the Acropolis in Athens is not exactly being up kept well. Financial stress has brought with it budget cuts, leaving many ancient ruins in disrepair. The latest issue is falling rocks: engineers have discovered that part of a huge flat-topped rock on which the 2,500 year-old ancient Parthenon sits is starting to crumble. The Central Archaeological Council found 'instability over quite a considerable area' after it examined an area where a boulder of considerable size had tumbled on January third. The Greek government, however, has released a statement saying that the damage is not as extensive as it's made out to be.

Falling rocks from the Acropolis raise alarm bells
The sanctuary of Asclepius, which is located on the south slope of the Acropolis,
has been covered to protect it from falling rocks [Credit: Ta Nea]
Researcher Dimitris Englezos outlined some of the problem areas and measures that are being considered when he addressed to the Central Archaeological Council. These include cleaning the slope and unhinging and refixing the unstable rocks at select locations, the construction of passive anchors and drainage holes.

According to the Archaeology News Network, the erosion problem derived from the fact that the Acropolis doesn’t have an up-to-date drainage system to absorb rainwater. Five out of the six ancient gutters have been blocked for many years now and the drainage system of temple complex hasn’t been connected to that of the city.

The London 'Times' published a headline exclaiming that the 'Acropolis is crumbling and will need work to shore it up, archaeologists in Greece have warned'. Teams from the Central Archaeological Council did in fact find “instability over quite a wide area” after investigating an Acropolis rockfall in January. A boulder of “considerable size” tumbled down from the sacred hill.

However, Constantinos Kissas, the deputy director of the First Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities, responded to the 'Times' allegations by insisting that reports of widespread damage were wide off the mark. He explained that a rock with a diameter of 60 centimeters had come unstuck from the southwestern slope of the Acropolis during heavy rain last winter.

The Ephorate has organized a technical survey to ascertain whether any work needs to be carried out to prevent further such incidents.